Terrorist wannabes guilty, Somalis hardest hit

Featured image We are all painfully familiar with the journalistic genre portraying the suffering of favored groups. That would be groups favored by the journalists. The satirical headline that captures the genre gives us the New York Times’s take on the apocalypse: “World ends, women & minorities hardest hit.” Credit is due to someone for the shaft of light cast by that parody headline. NewsBusters credits comedian Mort Sahl, still going strong »

“Minnesota men” go to trial: The jury returns

Featured image At 1:30 this afternoon the jury delivered its verdict in the case of the three “Minnesota men” charged with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The jury found the three men guilty on all counts with the exception of one perjury charge against Abdirahman Daud. (Daud gave a Clintonian response to an inartfully asked question before the grand jury. The Clintonian approach earned »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (20)

Featured image The prosecution and defense made their closing arguments to the jury on Tuesday and Wednesday. Judge Davis instructed the jury and submitted the case to them with separate verdict forms for each of the three defendants. The charges include a total of ten counts. I would guess the jury will until the middle of next week. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor gives relatively straightforward accounts of the closings here (May »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (19)

Featured image Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases yesterday following the testimony of defendant Guled Omar. Omar was the only one of the three defendants who elected to testify on his own behalf. I infer that defendants were advised by their capable lawyers to exercise their right to remain silent and put the government to meeting its burden of proof against them, but that Omar chose to reject that advice. »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (18)

Featured image The end approacheth. The prosecution called its final witnesses and rested yesterday. The last two government witnesses testified to the undercover sting operation leading to the arrest of two of the three defendants (Abdirahman Daud and Mohamed Farah) in San Diego, where they thought they were procuring fake passports facilitating their travel to join ISIS in Syria. The FBI used an undercover officer detailed from the San Diego police department »

With peaceniks for jihad

Featured image Minnesota’s Anti-War Committee — “Organizing Against US Wars Since 1998” — has opened up a front at the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. They stage weekly protests in support of the defendants in the ongoing trial of the “Minnesota men” charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and other related offenses. Six of the defendants among the current group have pleaded guilty; one is believed »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (17)

Featured image Well, I went to the trial yesterday and a fight broke out. Waiting in the hallway to enter the courtroom at the appointed hour, the hallway was thick with those of us wanting to take a seat inside. I stood directly behind a young Somali lady wearing a hijab. As she started pushing and shoving, she repeatedly dropped the F-bomb at maximum volume within shouting distance of the jury. One »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (16) [updated]

Featured image Judge Davis’s concerns about maintaining order in the courthouse were well founded, to say the least. He knows what he is doing, or trying to do. While we were waiting to be admitted to Judge Davis’s courtroom this morning a few mintues ago, a rumble broke out between Somali factions in the hallway. A young Somali woman started yelling that she would not be instructed where to sit by another »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (15)

Featured image Conspirator turned government informant Abdirahman Bashir completed his testimony during his fifth day on the stand yesterday. Defense counsel Bruce Nestor represents Abdhirahman Daud and is the best lawyer at the trial. He aggressively cross examined Bashir about his role promoting the trip to San Diego that culminated in the arrest of Daud and Mohamed Farah. (Ruled Omar was arrested in Minneapolis.) Bashir worked with the FBI to promise fake »

Annual Dinner, New Web Site

Featured image The think tank that I run, Center of the American Experiment, has an annual dinner with a distinguished history. We have hosted speakers like Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush, George Will, Robert Bork, and many more. Our 2016 dinner was last Saturday night. It was a wonderful event, attended by 870 conservatives. Dana Perino was our speaker. She did a great job, taking every opportunity to mingle »

Not dark yet, cont’d

Featured image Bob Dylan is first and foremost an astounding songwriter. He somehow absorbed the folk, rock, country and blues traditions as a precocious young man and then recapitulated them in his own voice many times over while adding a twist of modernist poetry to the mix. On his seventy fifth-birthday, I want to take the liberty of posting some notable cover versions of great songs you may not have heard before, »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (14)

Featured image Conspirator turned government informant Abdirahman Bashir returned to the stand for a fourth day yesterday. He completed direct examination in the morning before the lunch break. Defense counsel have commenced their cross examination of Bashir and should complete it today. So far my estimate is that Bashir is an effective witness for the government. He recorded hours of conversations with defendants beginning in February 2015, culminating in the arrest of »

Not dark yet

Featured image Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 75. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old home at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. The house is a small two-story residence with a one-car attached garage on the side. The house is exactly two blocks from Hibbing High School, »

Through the media looking-glass

Featured image The terrorism trial in progress before Judge Davis is important and interesting, but is difficult to understand through a media filter. The national media have mostly shied away from the trial. A couple of recent articles, however, offer exhibits A and B in the imposition of a gauzy filter over the case. The Los Angeles Times’s Matt Pearce took a detour from his trip to Minneapolis on the Prince beat »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (13)

Featured image The recordings made by conspirator turned informant Abdirahman Bashir took center stage for three hours at the trial of the three “Minnesota men” on Friday. They came in “fast and furious,” including so many items of interest that I found it hard to keep up as they were played in court. I therefore overlooked several in my post yesterday. Here is one with a little help from the Star Tribune’s »

Patrick Hogan would prefer not to

Featured image Conspirator turned informant Abdirahman Bashir testified to his former employment at the airport in the terrorism trial in progress before Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis this past Thursday. I immediately wrote Metropolitan Airports Commission public affairs officer Patrick Hogan to ask for basic information regarding Bashir’s employment at the airport. It was information of the kind that Hogan had previously provided me on co-conspirator Abdirizak Warsame, who also worked at »

“Minnesota men” go to trial (12)

Featured image Conspirator turned FBI informant Abdirahman Bashir remained on the stand as the prosecution played three more hours of conversations with the defendants that he secretly recorded in February, March and April 2015. Judge Davis excused the jury for the weekend at 12:30. During their opening statements, defense counsel portrayed the three defendants as innocents ensnared by the government. Defense counsel sought to create the impression that their clients’ interest in »